New toolkit gives crucial governance guidance to support council resilience

New toolkit gives crucial governance guidance to support council resilience

A set of practical toolkits launched today by the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny and the think-tank Localis will help council officers and councillors navigate governance risk and resilience.

One of the toolkits will assist senior council staff – the golden triangle of chief executive/monitoring officer/finance officer – exercise their leadership responsibilities to own and champion good governance.

In addition, a separate set has been designed for the needs of individual council officers and councillors not expert in governance to help them play their part in understanding, and acting on, risks that might prevent a council being effective, well run and accountable.

Jacqui McKinlay, chief executive, Centre for Governance and Scrutiny, said: “The toolkit practically describes seven ‘governance characteristics’ and clear examples of good and poor practice, supporting councils to review their own position.

“Drawing on research from a wide range of councils, including those requiring improvement support to councils looking to lead the way, we believe this work will positively contribute to local understanding of risk and what’s required to improve.’

Localis chief executive, Jonathan Werran, said: “The release of this toolkit, many years in the planning, could not be more opportune for a local government sector stretched to breaking point by a calendar year of pandemic and the twin pressures of remorseless service demand and financial structures.”

CIPFA CEO, Rob Whiteman, said: “Over the last decade, council finances have been bludgeoned by the dual pressures of austerity and increasing demand for services. With the impact of COVID-19 now added to the mix, practical toolkits that support good governance and strong risk management are essential to the ongoing resilience of local authorities.”

Scott Dorling, partner, Trowers and Hamlins said:  “We are a very proud sponsor of this toolkit. The toolkit is a fantastic practical guide which aims to provide all local government officers and members with a framework to help them identify, understand and act on governance risks in their authority. The timing of the toolkit couldn’t be better”